Will David Eustace be Successful in Hong Kong?

Will David Eustace be Successful in Hong Kong?  David Eustace’s decision to leave Australian horse racing to start a training career in Hong Kong was no real surprise to anyone familiar with his family.

Eustace is the nephew of former Hong Kong-based horseman David Oughton, and he has long dreamt about following in his footsteps at some point in his life.

The Englishman has spent the past five years as a co-trainer with Ciaron Maher, during which time the operation rattled home more than 1,600 winners.

That tally included 30 Group 1 successes including the 2022 Melbourne Cup with Gold Trip – a victory which cemented their legacy as big-hitters in Australian horse racing.

The pair were the scourge of online bookmakers last season, recording 347 wins on their way to claiming the Australian trainers’ title.

They have continued their quest to hit international horse racing betting sites this term, further highlighting how devasting their partnership has become.

Their use of data analysis and sports science put them at the forefront of Australian racing and is a methodology Eustace will replicate in Hong Kong.

“I hope to bring a varied style of training with experiences from the United Kingdom, experiences from Australia and with an emphasis on using sports science and data to enhance a horse’s training, longevity and careers in Hong Kong,” Eustace said.

“Communication, whether it be with Jockey Club itself, or with owners, is very important and I intend for it to be absolutely first-class. That’s what I hope to bring to the table along with youth and vibrancy.

“I also understand I am heading to one of the most competitive racing jurisdictions in the world and that’s exciting.”

Eustace’s move to Hong Kong is undoubtedly a gamble, as there is no guarantee he will be as successful without Maher working alongside him.

Annabel Neasham, Lucy Yeomans and Jack Bruce all worked with Maher before heading elsewhere and have found it tough to match his achievements.

However, Maher believes that Eustace has the talent to be a big hit in Hong Kong and has backed him to become one of the top trainers there.

“A man of David’s profile and reputation was always going to be in hot demand,” Maher said. “On a personal level I just want to thank David. He has been alongside me from the early days through thick and thin.

“I know we couldn’t have reached our current position as champion trainers of Australia without him – and his Hong Kong appointment is recognition of that. I am certain he will be very successful there.

“This is not the end of our relationship just a new chapter and both of us are confident that our relationship will continue in some form that will be to the benefit of both operations and their owners.”

The infrastructure in Hong Kong undoubtedly gives Eustace every chance of succeeding, with the world-class facilities likely to play to his strengths.

He will join former Australian handlers David Hayes, David Hall, Mark Newnham and Jamie Richards in Hong Kong, and will be keen to make his mark as quickly as possible.

Eustace is scheduled to head to Hong Kong in January to build relationships with new owners and generate some bloodstock.

He will complete his move in April, before ramping up preparations for the start of the Hong Kong racing season next September.

Given the reputation Eustace has built in Australia, do not be surprised if he is soon delivering plenty of winning returns for punters on the Hong Kong circuit.

Is the Welsh Grand National a credible trial for the Grand National?

Is the Welsh Grand National a credible trial for the Grand National?  Nowadays run over 3 miles, 6 furlongs and 130 yards, the Welsh Grand National has been a fixture of the Yuletide programme at Chepstow since 1979. Notwithstanding the fact that the going at Chepstow in late December is often soft or heavy, the marathon distance of the Welsh Grand National and its position in the calendar – three months or so before the Grand National, in late March or early April – ought to make it a reliable trial for the Aintree showpiece.

However, it may surprise you to learn that, since 1979, just four horses have won both races and just two of them did so in the same season. The first of them, Corbiere, trained by Jenny Pitman, fought out a tremendous finish with Pilot Officer in the 1982 Welsh Grand National, eventually winning by a head. In the 1983 Grand National, Corbiere held off Greasepaint by three-quarters of a length, thereby making Jenny Pitman the first woman to saddle a Grand National winner.

In 1997, having returned from a 634-day break at Haydock Park in mid-November, Earth Summit, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, won the Welsh Grand National at odds of 25/1, beating Dom Samurai by 1¼ lengths, all out. The following April, he justified favouritism in the 1998 Grand National, staying on well to beat Suny Bay, who was conceding 23lb, by 11 lengths.

Nigel Twiston-Davies also won the Welsh National and the Grand National with Bindaree, although he won at Aintree in 2002, the year before he won at Chepstow. The other horse to win both races was Silver Birch, who won at Chepstow in 2004, when trained by Paul Nicholls, and at Aintree three years later, when trained by Gordon Elliott.


Which Horses Will Win the Biggest Races in 2024?

Which Horses Will Win the Biggest Races in 2024?  Horse racing fans have plenty to look forward to in 2024, with the upcoming calendar packed with a ton of top-class action taking place across the world.

Next year undoubtedly looks exciting in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with top trainer Aidan O’Brien set to unleash a horse that looks to be a potential superstar.

Australian horse racing fans also have a stellar year lined up, with the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in November the undoubted highlight.

Picking the potential winners of races this far in advance is no easy task, so punters would be well advised to ensure they keep a close eye on respected tipping sites.

When it comes to reliable information, whether you are looking for horse racing tips tomorrow or a little further down the line, OnlyRacing.com.au has all the bases covered.

With that mind, we take a closer look at two horses we believe will deliver sizeable winning returns to punters when they contest the biggest races in 2024.

City of Troy – Epsom Derby

O’Brien spoke in glowing terms about City of Troy after the horse produced a devasting performance to turn the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse into a procession last month.

The son of Justify is now odds-on with some betting firms to win next year’s 2000 Guineas at the same venue, while he is priced at 3.50 to win the Epsom Derby.

O’Brien says that City of Troy is ‘the best two-year-old he had ever trained’ – high praise given the number of quality performers he has previously had in his stable.

Timeform handicapper Simon Baker gave the horse a rating of 125p after that victory, which places him in the same bracket as a previous superstar of the sport.

“City of Troy’s Dewhurst win was the best performance in the race since Frankel, and while we could wait a lifetime and not see anything in that league again, there can be no doubt that City of Troy is a tremendous prospect in his own right,” Baker said.

“Not all recent high-achieving Dewhurst winners have advanced their form markedly at three, but everything about City of Troy, from his powerful physique to his strong-galloping style, suggests he can go on improving, which makes him just about the most exciting horse around for 2024.”

Balance Play – Melbourne Cup

The recent Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale at Newmarket may well have produced an early pointer for a potential winner of the 2024 Melbourne Cup.

Balance Play was bought by McKeever Bloodstock, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for AU$1.155 million and has been touted as an ideal candidate for ‘the race that stops the nation’.

The horse was rated 101 going into the session, having won three of his six starts in high-class handicaps during his three-year-old campaign.

Balance Play is from the same family as Bauer, who famously missed out on winning the 2008 Melbourne Cup by a nose for trainer Luca Cumani.

Claudia Miller, bloodstock manager for Tulloch Lodge, says she was under ‘strict instructions’ not to leave the sale without the horse and was delighted when the hammer came down.

“He is a lovely three-year-old – lightly raced, very consistent and effective on all going,” Miller said. “He is just the exact profile of the horse we look for at this sale. We are very excited to get him.”

Which horse was Ruby Walsh’s first winner on British soil?

Rupert ‘Ruby’ Walsh announced his retirement, with immediate effect, after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy, trained by Willie Mullins, on May 1, 2019. He thus brought to an end a riding career that began at Leopardstown on May 17, 1995 – three days after his sixteenth birthday – and yielded 2,767 winners in Britain and Ireland combined. Walsh remains the third most successful National Hunt jockey in history, behind only Sir Anthony McCoy and Richard Johnson.

Born in Kill, Co. Kildare, Walsh was champion jump jockey in his native land on twelve occasions between 1998/99 and 2016/17 but, as far as a British audience is concerned, was best known for his exploits at the Cheltenham Festival. Thanks to fruitful associations with Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls – multiple champion trainers on their respective sides of the Irish Sea – Walsh rode a record 59 winners at the March showpiece and won the leading jockjey award eleven times between 2004 and 2017.

Walsh rode his first winner in Britain, Major Jamie, trained by Arthur Moore, in the William Hill Hurdle at Sandown Park on December 6, 1997, while still riding as ‘Mr. R. Walsh’. Indeed, he did not turn professional until the 1998/1999 season, by which time he had already ridden his first Cheltenham Festival winner, Alexander Banquet, trained by Mullins, in what is now the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, in March, 1998.




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